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A Personal Concordance

Yesterday’s post was overstated at the end. Yet I found no reason to suppress it. where oh where is the concordance that will allow those of us living through this poetry to find the words we seek in them and thereby gain back our souls? 

It was simply a leap, a poetic leap, and why censor it? During the days in which I labored as a poet, someone in a workshop would certainly have called that phrase to attention. Doesn’t grab me. Doesn’t make sense. Turns me away from the poem. And I would cut it like a dutiful student, shaping my poem to match the preferences of those more experienced than I, when I could have kept it in and developed my own entryways into that deeper place. The result may have gone unpublished, but here I am in a poetic drought, unable to write, submit, or publish anyway.

And yet, it makes sense. Think of someone searching through a concordance for a certain word. That person sits cross-legged on a braided rug. Fauré plays on Spotify. There are words written on scraps of paper surrounding her. She carefully pages through texts to find the word in context. Sunshine lights the dust motes in the room as she journeys toward meaning. A word perhaps not completely understood so much as grasped. A word that points the way to a path made earlier by other poets. Words like bridge, loneliness, snow, son

What would I find if I spent days seeking these in my favorite collected works? I could build a personal concordance for the poems of Rich, Levertov, Wright, Seuss, Lorde, Clifton, Kenyon, Sexton, Rukeyser, Auden, Berry, Ai, and in that way find the treasure. 

Tomorrow I’ll read this and think it doesn’t make sense. What am I saying?

That it all begins with words. Take them. Track them. Write.

Bridge. Loneliness. Snow. Son.

What will I learn?

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